Track and Field Fills Five Finals Slots at NCAA East Preliminary

Matt Hughes had the top overall time in the 3,000m steeplechase.

Matt Hughes had the top overall time in the 3,000m steeplechase.

May 27, 2011


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - It was another solid day for the University of Louisville track and field teams at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds on Friday at Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex in Bloomington, Ind., as the Cardinals filled five more slots at the NCAA finals, and now have advanced six athletes in seven events for Des Moines, Iowa.

The reigning 3,000m steeplechase national champion, senior Matt Hughes, had the top time for the second-straight year in the preliminary rounds. Hughes, who qualifies for nationals, completed the race with the fastest overall mark, clocking a time of 8:35.74. It is listed as the third-fastest time in school history, with Hughes owning the top two marks. He won the national title in 2010 at a slightly quicker pace in 8:34.18.

Senior Rachel Gehret became the third athlete to punch her ticket to nationals, qualifying earlier in the day in the high jump. The 2010 BIG EAST outdoor high jump champion tied her career-best mark by soaring over the bar, which was set at 1.81m/5-11.25.

The next three entries came from the women's throws group, as three Cardinals placed in the top 12 in the shot put. On a career-best throw of 16.97m/55-8.25, also an outdoor school-record mark, D'Ana McCarty placed fourth to qualify for nationals. She already earned a spot in the hammer throw after placing ninth in the event. Khadija Abdullah placed eighth in the shot put, charting a throw of 16.58, and Chinwe Okoro, who had a strong last-chance meet to qualify in a pair of throwing events, took 11th on a toss of 16.27m/53-4.50.

Mattias Wolter ran a solid race for his first time at the preliminary rounds, but missed qualifying in the 3,000m steeplechase. A Nova Scotia, Canada, native, Wolter ran the race in 8:56.94, placing 17th and missing the cutoff to the finals site by five spots.



Freshman Jenna Wargo (javelin), junior Megan Schubert (high jump) and senior Kyle Gann (pole vault) also participated in their respective events on Friday. On the track, Monica Hernandez was the only other competitor, running the women's 3,000m steeplechase.

The Cardinals return to action for the final day of the preliminary rounds, beginning competition at 11 a.m. with the women's discus.

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Women's Javelin
30. Jenna Wargo - 42.15m/138-3

Women's High Jump
t-1. Rachel Gehret - 1.81m/5-11.25
t-18. Megan Schubert - 1.75m/5-8.75

Women's Shot Put
4. D'Ana McCarty - 16.97m/55-8.25
8. Khadija Abdullah - 16.58m/54-4.75
11. Chinwe Okoro - 16.27m/53-4.50
45. Amashi Kendall - 13.41m/44-0

Men's Pole Vault
-- Kyle Gann - NH

Women's 3,000m Steeplechase
34. Monica Hernandez - 10:45.75

Men's 3,000m Steeplechase
1. Matt Hughes - 8:35.74
17. Mattias Wolter - 8:56.94

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